All the three collector wells on the Coleroon river and the common sump of the Rs.221.42-crore new drinking water augmentation scheme were energised on Thursday, paving the way for supply of water from the scheme by this month end ahead of the peak summer season.
Describing it as an important step forward in the project, corporation officials said they were on course now to meet the assurance given earlier that pumping of water from the scheme would begin by March 31.
There has been some delay in getting the permanent power connections, especially for the common sump on account of a litigation, causing some anxiety among the civic officials over the past few days.
The corporation had already started pumping water from the first collector well of the scheme a couple of months ago to feed a few tanks in Woraiyur, utilising a temporary power connection.
The project, financed by Japan International Cooperation Agency, seeks to step up the per capita drinking water supply to 135 litres a day and ensure equitable distribution to all parts of the city. Work on the project, sanctioned in 2007, commenced in 2008-2009 as it is being executed under eight different packages.
Corporation sources told The Hindu that dry run of the motors would begin on Friday and trail run of pumping water would begin by Saturday.
The trial run is expected to go on for about 15 to 20 days to check for leakages and pressure levels on the new pumping lines laid for a stretch of about 80 km.
“We are confident of commencing supply from the three collector wells to about 29 new overhead tanks and several other existing water tanks, especially those situated in areas which are currently facing some short supply, by March 31,” Corporation Commissioner V.P.Thandapani told The Hindu.
Distribution mains have been laid for a stretch of about 330 km so far and have to be laid for another 70 to 80 km. Of the 37 new overhead tanks to come up under the project, 30 are ready and the remaining ones are under construction.
The corporation would initially tap about 60 million litres a day (MLD) from the new scheme. The new scheme is designed to provide 93.26 MLD to the city in the ultimate stage in 2039, though civic officials said that the new water source for the city has a potential to yield much quantum of water.
Currently, the city gets about 96 MLD of water and the additional 60 MLD is expected to tide over the short supply faced in some parts of the city within such as Ariyamangalam and Mela Kalkandarkottai before the summer.